View Full Version : Dining chairs need new rope weaving

18th October 2016, 10:47 AM
The 12 year old chairs were from Ikea and appealed to us a lot because of their looks and comfort. The stainless steel frame is covered with a weaving of paper based string which has torn in a few places. Rather than dumping the lot at the tip we would love to see them restored. I was thinking of using 5mm synthetic blind rope to reweave the frames and Iím looking for some help with this project (Brisbane, Australia).
Can you help in any way? Can you think of someone who might be able to help? Can you think of a more suitable group or forum for this posting?
Thank you for your time and thoughts.

Attached are a couple of photos

18th October 2016, 02:50 PM
I'm no expert, but I'd suggest that using blind string may take away from the comfort because it will have different stretch/movement characteristics to the original string/paper system. Maybe consider using a material with stretch/elongation characteristics closer to that of the string?

Ye olde rattan or cane would be a closer material if you were to go back into the traditional upholstery space - I believe Ikea probably use the string because it's recycled and has better enviro credentials than the harvest of canes.

I know 3/5s of nothing about converting a chair from one substrate to another - you'll have to wait for the experts on that one.

On the other hand, I applaud your attempt to resurrect furniture, to avoid waste - it's not always (rarely) economic (due to economies of scale with the original production), but the warm fuzzy feeling can help with that.

18th October 2016, 04:23 PM
Hi Chris


this site Seatweaving #101 -- Caning, Rush, Splint, Cord (http://www.wickerwoman.com/seatweaving) suggests

Seats are woven with a variety of pliable materials such as strand cane, cane webbing, rattan reed, paper fibre rush, natural rush, ash, oak or hickory bark splint, Danish Modern cord, and Oriental seagrass to name a few.

based on the photos on the referenced site, it looks like your chairs are woven with paper twist or paper rush, which the referenced site notes is more durable than natural rush.
Restoring the chairs will be a good project for you and should require minimal tools. The site also links to US and Canadian suppliers of paper rush.

18th October 2016, 06:32 PM
Thank you for your thoughts. The point you are making about different materials possibly stretching differently is rather important. I’ll will need to make some more testing, at this stage a 5 mm synthetic woven rope seems to stretch not too much to look saggy after stretching. Bur yes I’ll need to be careful about this detail. Thank you for your help,

18th October 2016, 07:25 PM
Hi Ian,
thank you very much for the link, it leads to a lot of very useful information.
Since our chairs are not antiques but made out of stainless steel tubing I wouldnít mind to try for long-levity (?) some suitable synthetic cord so Iíll need to research this area some more.
Also I wonder how to find someone with a bit of spare time who would like to help with the weaving. I wouldnít be able to afford expensive commercial hourly rates but perhaps some arrangements could be found.
Again, thank you Ian

19th October 2016, 12:28 AM

Derek Cohen built an award winning copy of the "Wenger chair".
On his website, and also in posts on this forum, he documented the building process, this link covers weaving the seat http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furnitu...gTheChair.html (http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furniture/WeavingSeatCompletingTheChair.html)
Derek used Danish cord, which appears to be another name for paper twist or paper rush.

When restoring the seats, I very strongly urge you to use the original material if at all possible. Synthetic cord will likely stretch excessively leading to sagging seats in a very short time. Given the stretch of synthetics -- up to 15% I believe -- pre-stretching the cord to remove future sag will possibly bend the chair frames.

19th October 2016, 08:28 AM
Ian makes a good point that I had neglected - the relative tensions required for different string/webbing materials would have influenced the design of the frame.

Either way, it should be a good little project to try out - just don't forget to only unravel one chair at a time - so you have a pattern to copy from. You could take photos, but having an actual sample there would be a next level of helpful, particularly if you've never done it before.

19th October 2016, 08:16 PM
Hi Ian, thank you for “strongly urging” me to use the original material. Reflecting on what you are saying it makes sense that that synthetic cord could stretch and lead to disappointment. Actually it’s amazing that a humble product like paper cord seems to outperform synthetics.
I started to undo some old cord on one chair and the actual frame is different to what I expected. The corners looked very difficult but in reality are just short pieces held in place by the main weaving. However I find it difficult to crack the system how the chairs were originally woven. Perhaps someone knows of a book with hints for these sort of techniques?
Again, thanks for your thoughts and helpful links. By the way, Derek Cohen’s chair is amazing. Cheers Chris

20th October 2016, 07:42 AM
Chris, the link I posted above should have enough information to get you started.

and I would be surprised if a library near you doesn't have more information on seat weaving. From what I know, the weaving patterns and steps are pretty standard, it's the materials used that make the difference.

20th October 2016, 08:30 AM
Hi Ian, thank you for the encouragement. Iíll need to work through a couple of current priorities and in a few days get started with ordering material, your support was much appreciated. Your gentle help made the forum grow on me. There are plenty of other project on my mind but I shall also try to assist others as well. Kind regards

20th October 2016, 09:54 PM
Hi Chris, I'm not far from you (Chelmer) but a world away in help as I have never done anything like weaving (apart from splicing ropes for boats). However, there are a lot of craftspeople out there for whom weaving is second nature. Many {wow don't know the currently politically acceptable description anymore, "Australia's first people') have a wealth of weaving experience. There are also people on these forums whose female partners are weavers (yes, I know, sexist, but guess what, not, just recognising the facts) so, if you can search the forums for those hints you may find someone. BUT, try Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists | Fibrecraft House, 12 Payne St, Auchenflower Q 4064 P:07 33710009 (http://qldspinners.org.au/) Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists _ Fibrecraft House, 12 Payne St, Auchenflower Q 4064 P_07 33710009

21st October 2016, 08:42 PM
Hi Xanthorrhoeas
Thank you so much for reaching out. Great ideas and detailed info I hadn’t thought of. Much appreciated. Have a great one!

11th November 2016, 12:42 AM
Hi Chris,
If you can't find someone who could repair the weave why not consider covering the chairs? If you remove the woven part of the chair it would be easy to slip a cover of a material you like over them and reassemble them, you could also add cushion material in the seat area. If you make it removable they could be washed regularly.

11th November 2016, 06:52 AM
Chris, Chair weaving materials and repairs are available from andWovenCane (http://www.andwovencane.com.au/)in Bardon.

11th November 2016, 02:26 PM
Hi Rob,
Thank you so much for your thoughts. I’m certainly impressed with the woodworks forum and its caring members.
As it so happen some other priorities cropped up and the chair restauration subject has been shelved for the time being.
Have a nice one, Chris

11th November 2016, 02:29 PM
Thank you for the tip Fuzzie


Robson Valley
12th November 2016, 04:00 AM
It's understatement to claim that digital photography is cheap.
I suggest that you take many pictures as you take the first chair apart.
There may well be some assembly sequence which does not follow the reverse order of your pictures.

12th November 2016, 09:48 AM
It's understatement to claim that digital photography is cheap.
I suggest that you take many pictures as you take the first chair apart.
There may well be some assembly sequence which does not follow the reverse order of your pictures.

Thanks Rob, very true, to have plenty of pictures can make a big difference.

Luke Maddux
12th November 2016, 09:53 AM
FYI I didn't read every post. Sorry for any redundant answers.

That stuff is usually called Danish Cord or Paper Cord. It's available in Australia if you just google it. I would seek out the appropriate cordage instead of improvising. After all, you appreciate the chairs enough to restore them, so you may as well do it right.

There is also a lot of information on how to reweave it (it's more technical than you might think).

Good luck,

12th November 2016, 10:15 AM
Thanks Luke, a lot of good info came my way and I'm thanking all. Great Forum
Have a nice one

23rd November 2016, 05:49 PM
Hi Chris, as Luke says, the paper string is readily available. Even Bunnings have it.

Good luck


23rd November 2016, 10:05 PM
Thanks David,
I didn't realise that the paper woven string was available so close to home! My wife now also has her eyes on the string for various activities and projects for the elderly.
Thanks again,

17th January 2017, 10:50 AM
There are many YouTube videos on how to weave a Danish cord seat.
One series by Caleb James is very good:
Caleb James Chairmaker Planemaker: How to Weave A Danish Paper Cord Seat - Series (http://kapeldesigns.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/how-to-weave-danish-paper-cord-series.html)
He also describes the tools you need on his blog:
Caleb James Chairmaker Planemaker: paper cord (http://kapeldesigns.blogspot.com.au/search/label/paper%20cord)